Most parents want their children not only to learn to read, but learn to love reading. And while the love of reading is not something you can teach or force on your child there are a few ideas on what you can do to strength the bond between your child and books.
Firstly, you need to make sure your child is reading every day. Even if it is just for 20 minutes, no matter what their age it is important to encourage reading for pleasure. Spend the time just before they go to bed reading a book they have chosen. Make sure it is a topic they like a d age appropriate too.
During this time get your child to read a small passage out loud, and take turns reading chapters or pages depending the type of book you are reading. Encourage your child to read aloud gives them faith in their own reading ability as well.
Recently, The American Library Association (ALA) published a list of the most Notable Children's Books of 2012. It includes books for all age groups and gives you at least a starting point and gives a wide variety of themes and topics for you and your child to enjoy together.
Just taking one example from each age group;
Young Children - King Jack and the Dragon (by Peter Bently, Illus. by Helen Oxenbury) enhanced by whimsical illustrations, this story of the wonders and terrors created by a child's imagination, shows the power of playtime and the magic of make-believe.
Middle - Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade (by Melissa Sweet, Illus. by the author) this story of Tony Sarg, the artistic inventor who conceived the huge balloons that float through New York City each Thanksgiving, joyously celebrates his life's creative process.
And for the older children in your house-hold: How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous (by Georgia Bragg, Illus. by Kevin O'Malley) a wildly humorous collective biography featuring horrifying medical treatments and deaths of nineteen famous men and women, this surprisingly heavily researched compendium is terrific book bait for reluctant readers.
For the older, reluctant reader it can be a good idea to get them into a series of books. Obviously Harry Potter is fantastic for this, the suspense and engaging story makes you want to keep going back for more. Or the Tomorrow When the War Began series is another good choice. If your child is interested in a particular author then encourage them to read all the books by that author, and find out authors that are similar. When I was young I read all Roald Dahl's books, and I think he still reaches many children even today. It could be a good place to start. You will know from the games and toys your child plays with, what their personal interests are. So, if for example, your child likes cars, get books about cars.
Taking a family excursion to your local library is another great way to help the love of reading to grow! Get your child their own library card, and let them choose a few books each week. They will then read these books before being responsible for returning them also. Giving them this responsibility and letting them make reading and books their own responsibility removes it from the 'chore' status when it is related to school, it makes it enjoyable for them.
It is also beneficial to talk to your child after they have finished reading the book. Depending on the age of your child you can tailor the discussion to their abilities. But even with young children you can ask the, 'how did the book make you feel', 'how do you think the main character felt', 'did you like the way it ended' etc. This gets them thinking about the book once they have finished reading and helps them to understand they can learn social and emotional behaviors from a good book.
Some of these tips might seem a bit obvious but they really do work. The most important thing to remember is not to nag your child. Reading is supposed to be fun so if push it too much it could have the adverse effect.
If you child has real problems with learning to read you can get outside help from in-home and online tutors too.
It is important that the next generation go on to love and appreciate books and reading.
Learning to read can be a frustrating and difficult process without the right kind of reading help.
That is why our expert and experienced reading tutors understand the importance of encouragement, patience and theory that help to improve reading skills in an effective way.
We have experience successfully working with the young and old alike, as well as those who find reading more challenging due to learning difficulties.